Although many feel that the recession is behind us and we shouldn’t speak that “r” word again, it has definitely affected facets of everyone’s life, including travel. As people were concerned about their jobs, their homes, and their families, vacations didn’t seem as important as they did in the past. As a result, fewer people vacationing and the travel industry was definitely affected by this. The cruise lines had difficulty filling their ships and we saw some incredible deals as they scrambled to get cabins filled. Fewer people went on cruises, but those that did were able to take advantage of the great prices as well as perks and incentives.
As the industry starts to chug along and we start to see signs of improvement, the travel industry is starting to anticipate this as well. They need to watch their bottom line and of course, they are interested in making money. We are already seeing price increases, like Norwegian Cruise Line’s recent April 1st cruise fare increase. I expect that just like with the airlines where one airline cuts or raises prices, then all the others do as well, I expect the other major cruise lines to start hiking their prices as well.
My advice to anyone reading this blog is to plan ahead before the prices go up. Since we know the prices will go up, I would strongly urge you to book your cruise sooner than later. With a small deposit of about $200 per person with most of the cruise lines, you can lock in your price now and avoid having to pay top dollar down the road. You can also take advantage of any of the sale specials that might be occurring right now such as onboard credit, reduced deposit, etc. I think the prices we have seen on cruises these past few years will soon be a distant memory as the cost of fuel and the cruise lines’ need to make up for lost revenue. If you’ve been thinking about going on a cruise, book now and pay less later to have a truly enjoyable vacation.
What do you think about the cruise lines raising their cruise fares? Do you think it is to be expected?